By Sara Withee - News Staff Writer
MENDON -- Linwood Lowell spent much of his youth making ice cream and working alongside his
father at his family's former restaurant.
Today, the 78-year-old lives less than a quarter-mile from the landmark Lowell's Restaurant, where
his grandfather Freeman Lowell and his father Harold "Putt" Lowell cultivated a comfortable
atmosphere for locals that long outlived them.
But yesterday, as Linwood watched cleanup from the fire that destroyed the popular eatery, he said he
has steered clear of the restaurant since the horrific night when his father was fatally beaten there 30
"I've only been back there twice since my father died," said Linwood, who was a restaurant employee
and Mendon's part-time fire chief at the time of his father's death. "I just have a little worm in my
Freeman Lowell began selling and delivering milk from horse and wagon in 1913, then added ice
cream and a soda fountain. His four children inherited the business after his death in 1946, with
Harold, a former part-time fire chief himself, serving as its manager.
He was the face of the business and loved it, Linwood said.
"This was his pride and joy," Linwood said. "He was the one who kept it operating and going. To him,
seven days a week was just common."
Harold was 70 on Oct. 26, 1974, when an intruder entered his restaurant around 10:30 p.m. and
attacked him as he counted the night's receipts.
Harold fought back, calling police himself and escaping through a window, according to news reports.
Dot Lowell, Linwood's wife, said her husband heard the attack on his police scanner, ran to the
restaurant and spoke to his father before he was put in a police cruiser and taken to Milford-
Whitinsville Regional Hospital.
Rescuers and police came on the scanner with word Harold had died before the cruiser made it to
the hospital, Dot said.
"It was sad," she said. "It had a lot of good memories. But when Linwood's father was killed there, that
was the bad memory."
Several days after the murder, 19-year-old Robert DiPietro of Milford was charged. He was later
sentenced to jail, Dot said. The family, meanwhile, sold the restaurant to the Hackensons two years
later, in 1976.
But Linwood said even before the murder, he knew he didn't want to stay in the restaurant business
without his father.
"The April before he called me in the office and said, 'I think I want to retire and I want you to take over
the business,'" Linwood said. "I said right then to him, 'You retire, I walk out right behind you.'" Milford
Daily News, November 12, 2007.
try again some day to get better copies of the 1974 Milford News articles. The machine at the Milford
Library seems to get tired after a bit of work, and it wasn't letting me copy the width that it normally
Now and Then - Lowell's Dairy
safe in office where Harold P. Lowell was attacked by intruder.
been part of the Mendon community for almost three generations.
Arrow points to window where killer is believed to have jumped after
assault on restaurant owner.